Summarizing to Understand!
Reading to Learn
Amanda Starnes

Rationale:  Comprehension is one of the most important aspects of reading.  Summarization is a way to help students learn comprehension.  There are many important strategies that children can use to help them learn to summarize.  This lesson help students learn to summarize through steps as a class and then steps that they can do alone.

Materials:
1. Chalk
2. Chalkboard
3. Sarah Plain and Tall  (a copy for every student in the class)
4. An informational article (a copy for every student in the class)
5. Paper and pencil for summaries.

Procedure:
1. “How many of you would like to learn something that will help you to remember what you read?  I know that I would love some help remembering what I read.  Have you ever heard the word summarization?  Well, we are going to learn how to summarize what we read.  When you summarize something, you choose the most important concepts from the text.  We also eliminate the less important concepts.”  Make sure that all of your students understand what you mean.
2. “I am going to tell you six different rules that will help you learn to summarize.”  Write the six different steps on the chalkboard so that the students can see them for the rest of the day.
1. Delete unimportant information
2. Delete repeated information
3. Substitute easy terms for lists of terms
4. Add a series of events with an action term
5. Select a topic sentence
6. Invent a topic sentence if there is not one
3. Now introduce the book called Sarah Plain and Tall.  Read the first chapter to the class and then model how to summarize for them.  “Okay class, listen carefully as I read chapter one of our new book.  Okay, now watch as I model how to summarize what we just read.”  Write Sarah Plain and Tall- Chapter one in the first circle.  Then coming out of the circle write some important events that took place.  Example- Father receives a letter from Sarah, and Sarah comes to visit.
4. “Now I am going to read chapter two of Sarah Plain and Tall.  I want each of you to help me summarize chapter two.”  Have the students raise their hands when they think of a main idea.  If they have thought of a good one, have them come up and write the main idea on the board.
5. Now have a non-fiction article for your students to use.  The article should be about two pages.  An article to go along with what you are learning in science of social studies would be great.  “Okay class, I want you to read this article and then do a summary just like the one we did for Sarah Plain and Tall.  Remember to make your web and then pick out the most important parts.  Don’t  forget to look at the six rules for summarizing that we wrote on the board.”
6. For Assessment I will take up the student’s summaries.  I will walk around and make sure that each student is on the right track.

References:
www.auburn.edu/rdggenie
 Meg Crow, Kelly Star
Pressley, Michael. "Strategies That Improve Children's Memory and Comprehension of Text". The Elementary School Journal. Volume 90, number 1. 1989
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